Four Coachella Valley Teachers Going To Instanbul

By Kim Robinson

Advanced Placement European History Teach at Cathedral City High School

There are four teachers who will be going from the Coachella Valley. I teach Advanced Placement European History  and College Prep World History, Kristin Albinson who teaches College Prep  World History at Palm Desert High School, Joseph May who teaches College Prep US and AP US History at Desert Hot Springs High School and Miguel Higuera who teaches 7th grade Ancient Civilizations at Toro Canyon Middle School in Thermal.

We will be traveling to Istanbul on July 10th and returning on the 24th.  We are sponsored by the World Affairs Council of the Desert and will be the guests of the Turkish Cultural Foundation.  In order to participate in the program, we had to formally apply through WAC and attend a teacher workshop at Redlands University.  The workshop was in March and included scholar presentations from three college professors who teach at California State University, San Bernardino.  The presentations addressed the geography, history and recent developments in Turkey.

While we are there, we will visit Turkish schools and have a formal meeting with representatives from the Turkish Cultural Foundation.  We will visit a number of famous sites in Istanbul that include the Blue Mosque, the Spice Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, well cruise the Bosporus Strait and of course, try the food.  Outside of Istanbul, we will spend time at the Gallipoli WWI Monument, Troy, Ephesus, Bursa, Konya and the capital Ankara.  We will also spend a day exploring the Fairy Chimneys at Cappadocia, and, of course, sample all the food.  We will be visiting all kinds of museums, mausoleums and a Whirling Dervish ceremony.

When we return we are expected to present at a World Affairs Council showcase.  I believe that the showcase will be held in October and tentatively we are currently planning on creating an informal overview of our trip complete with pictures and we will sit as a panel for that session.  Because we teach different periods of history, we also plan on creating a timeline of Turkey, and each teacher will talk about what we learned in relations to the various periods of Turkish history that we are exposed to on the trip.

At this point we have met for coffee and talked about what we would like to take from this experience.  We have also spent some time talking about different travel tips since three of the four have extensive travel experience.  In any event, we are all get excited about the trip and immersing  ourselves in Turkish culture, food and language.